Ah, childhood summers—where the days never seemed to end and we’d
spend them playing outside with our friends from sunup to sundown. Although
our parents may have urged us to stay hydrated, chances are we weren’t
too concerned about anything other than having fun until the new school
year in September.
No matter your age, staying hydrated during the summer months is still
an important component of your health. It’s easy to go about your
day without thinking about how much water you’ve had to drink, or
to forget to eat foods that will keep you feeling good. Here are five
tips to help you stay hydrated so you can enjoy your summer.
Drink Water Before, During, and After Outdoor Activities
Whether you’re playing a sport, going for a hike, or just sitting
outside to catch some rays, it’s important to drink water throughout
the entire activity. Everyone is different, so the amount of recommended
water intake while exercising varies from person to person. Your sweat
rate, the humidity, and how long you’re exercising are all
factors that you should consider.
The American Council on Exercise suggests the average person drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours
before they begin exercising, and eight ounces 20 to 30 minutes
prior to exercising. While you’re active, you should drink seven to 10 ounces of water
every 10 to 20 minutes. Within
30 minutes of finishing your exercise, you should drink eight ounces of water.
Eat Watery Foods to Replace Lost Fluids
You can get your recommended water intake
through solid foods, too! After you’ve finished a tough workout or a long day in the
sun, replace fluids by eating watery foods like watermelon, iceberg lettuce,
oranges, and strawberries. Cucumbers have the
highest water content of any solid food, and can be served in many different ways, including in a salad or soup.
Celery, radishes, and tomatoes are also solid foods with a water content
of over 90 percent.
Here’s a full list of great foods you can incorporate into your diet to stay hydrated.
The recommended eight glasses of water per day may seem like an impossible
task. But solid foods with high water content help us to get the H2O we
need. Whether you’re 7 or 77, remember to eat your fruits and vegetables
all summer long.
Carry a Water Bottle With You
Carrying a water bottle is one of the easiest ways to stay hydrated. This
allows you to have access to water whenever you’re feeling dehydrated.
Not only is this a great way to have access to water no matter where you
are, but it will also help you save money. Refilling a reusable water
bottle with tap water will save you from buying bottled water in bulk
at the grocery store each week.
Using a water bottle can also help you to
feel more alert during the day. If you’re at work and you hit that midday wall where
you feel like your energy has been zapped, having a bottle of water nearby
can give you the energy boost you need to keep going. Staying hydrated
also helps to keep us in
a better mood and reduces frustration.
Know the Signs of Dehydration
Dry skin is a sign of dehydration. When skin is dehydrated, it becomes irritated,
inflamed, itchy, and sensitive. The skin will feel tight, and flaking
and scaling could occur. Redness and cracks that lead to bleeding are
common. While it may be easy to brush aside
headaches as symptoms of stress or tension, they can also be caused by dehydration.
When a headache is caused by dehydration, it’s likely to be
accompanied by other symptoms, such as dry mouth and nausea.
We’re all familiar with the sensation of feeling
dizzy and fatigued due to dehydration. If you’re feeling lethargic and confused, or
you experience dizziness that doesn’t go away quickly, it’s
important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Incorporate Fluid Intake in Your Daily Routine
Make staying hydrated a habit so you don’t have to go out of your
way to get your daily water intake. Have a cup of water each morning when
you wake up, or a glass right before you go to bed. Enjoy a cup of green
tea each day after lunch. Make drinking water a part of your daily routine,
and not something that you have to go out of your way to get done.
The best way to make sure that you stay happy, healthy, and feeling great
this summer is to stay hydrated.
Frederick Regional Health System wishes you a safe and enjoyable summer.